MAP

Alex Adarichev

Bio

I am a 2008 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis now working as an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. My interests are in all things related to cities and the life that goes on in them. Walking, watching and documenting New York City has been one of my favorite things to do since I moved here two years ago.

Harriet Andronikides

Bio

I have studied architecture and design and have been working in the field on numerous projects throughout the city. I am a native New Yorker and an avid traveler who is thrilled by exploring new places.

Statement

The past 10 years have been a chapter in New York City's history that I think will be remembered as a time of renaissance and innovation. The city is evolving into a place where the interweaving of new progressive design with the distinctive existing fabric is creating new urban experiences that every New Yorker and visitor can appreciate and enjoy.

However, I think more care needs to be taken to avoid New York City becoming a sea of developer's banal glass towers and in the future I hope to see more buildings pushing the limits of technology and design that better integrate with the existing context.

Gretchen Bank self portrait

Gretchen Bank

Bio

Gretchen Bank is a strategic marketing consultant with 30+ years' experience in the building industry, providing integrated marketing and communications services to A/E/C firms and organizations. In 2001, she led the New York New Visions editorial team to produce Principles for the Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan after 9/11. She is the author of Master Builder: Skyscrapers and Master Builder: Bridges (Thunder Bay Press, 2008). Gretchen currently chairs the AIA New York Marketing & Public Relations Committee, and is an amateur photographer focusing on urban subjects.

David Bench self portrait

David Bench

Bio

David Bench is currently enrolled at the MArch II program at Yale University. He moved to New York City in 2005 to work for Richard Meier & Partners after receiving a BArch from the University of Texas.

Andrew Bernheimer self portrait

Andrew Bernheimer

Bio

Andrew Bernheimer, AIA, is a partner in the architectural firm Della Valle Bernheimer, located in Brooklyn, NY.

Statement

This past decade represents nearly 70% of my life in New York and also of my architectural career. Having participated in the successes (and failures) of this past decade, and having a firm whose portfolio has grown due to the strange dynamics of this period, I find it difficult to imagine that any one assessment of the dramatic changes to our city will be appropriate. To me, it is likely that the past decade will be looked upon in, at the very least, a bifurcated fashion, as both a moment in time when architecture (and engineering) reasserted itself as vital to our city fabric but also a time when architecture in the service of a failed economy was the ultimate resulting product.

There are divergent paths for criticism. The first is that which approaches the work produced by developers, by the real estate economy. This work will be judged as part of the zeitgeist, as by-products of the investments, both successful and failed, of developers who saw value in high design or of those who (cynically) produced buildings that aped elements of high design. In the end much of this work, where the architecture asserts itself as essential, will simply become background (albeit in some places snazzy background) to the neighborhoods it either catalyzed or was catalyzed by: West Chelsea, Dumbo, etc. The most lasting impact will have been made by zoning changes, a city therefore more impacted by embedded changes in verbiage and legalisms and less by the immediate expressions of style and form.

The second path takes one through the admirably ambitious public and semi-public projects completed, commandeered, or encouraged by the Bloomberg administration — the High Line, the forthcoming Governors Island, the nascent Brooklyn Bridge Park, the PlaNYC framework, the goals for affordable housing, etc. This work has lasting value beyond just its appearance, though in many places it's appearance is striking and dramatic. This work represents idealism in the possibilities for publicly sponsored architecture and space-making, for what urban spaces might do to elevate the city as an entity, as a collection of social moments.

Perhaps the question or dilemma, if one considers it a dilemma at all, is whether one set of projects can exist without the other.

Andy Bernheimer

April 2010

Harmony S. Blackwell self portrait

Harmony S. Blackwell

Bio

Harmony S. Blackwell recently completed concurrent graduate programs in architecture and building construction from the University of Florida and relocated to New York City with the aspiration of furthering her experience in these fields as well as photography. She is currently working as a project manager for high-end residential renovation projects and when not on site, engages in photography with an emphasis on architecture.

Kyle R. Brooks self portrait

Kyle R. Brooks

Bio

Kyle R. Brooks is an architect and photographer with the U.S. General Services Administration Design Excellence Branch, New York. Brooks earned his MArch from the Tulane University of the South and a Diploma in Architectural Conservation from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Rome, Italy. In 2003 he was selected as the AIA/AAF Richard Morris Hunt Fellow in Historic Preservation. As a photographer, his most recent exhibitions have been “Here Is New York” (Remembering 9/11) curated by Charles Traub; “Artists of 9/11” curated by John Rosenquist, New York City; “Passatge: Architects as Photographers,” Colegio d'Arquitectos, Girona, Spain, in participation with the AIA International Committee (extinct); and the forthcoming “Vann Molyvann, Cambodian Modernism” at the French Cultural Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Barrett Brown

Bio

Barrett Brown is currently an architectural designer working at Polshek Partnership and living in New York City. He holds a Master of Architecture from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Statement

In the years following the tragedy of September 11, architectural responses to the attacked site have been convoluted with ego and desperate attempts to rebuild as quickly as possible, as if rapid construction would accelerate the healing process of New Yorkers and the world. The outcome of the many flawed and impetuous responses to the site has predictably resulted in a void and hollow 'non-place,' with only peeking cranes suggesting any rejuvenation of the site. The tragedy left a physical, emotional, and economic gap in the city that has expressed itself not in the physical site of loss, but in other projects, perhaps less predictable, across the city.

Many of the architectural responses in the city could be framed from two perspectives — how the city sees the city, and how architects see the city. There are softer, gentler solutions that carve public space in unconventional territory. Take the High Line project, for instance, which transformed an abandon elevated freight train line into an exciting, and yet poetic, park. Differing from conventional public parks in New York, which are often centralized in the city or centralized around an historic monument, the Highline celebrates the city as pedestrians move through several Chelsea blocks, catching stunning views of the Hudson and the busy streets below — seeing the city from a perspective that carves a new space for positioning one's self. Very literally the city is celebrated as a cantilevered amphitheatre, which transforms the city street into a dynamic, unscripted theatre. While this device very much employs the thesis of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, it also exemplifies a new consciousness in the city — the idea that people are fascinated with urbanism, chance, and, of course, other people.

With PlaNYC and a plethora of new public parks and spaces being planned and developed, the zeitgeist of city policy, in the arena of the built environment, seems to be that of non-development. On the other hand, we have seen glittering new canons of architectural gusto, such as the Hearst Tower by Norman Foster, and the radically deconstructivist Cooper Union hall by Morphosis. Spurred by private development, particularly new condominium buildings, architects have been able to realize their own design ambitions and subsequently establish or maintain their presence as celebrity architects. But the patronization of these commissions, and the obsession of developers to brand their projects through the identity of architects, lose sight of relevant social problems, and unfortunately many of these capital projects become a missed opportunity.

The design of the new World Trade Center, and the surrounding memorials, has positioned itself as a sort of 'non-building' — it exists in argument, chaos, and fervent planning, but not in actual form. Santiago Calatrava's design for the transportation hub at Ground Zero is a prime example of how ego unfortunately trumps an opportunity, through the design of a luminous, extravagant monument to a creative mind, rather than a smart design for the purpose it will ultimately serve.

Alternatively, and perhaps most surprising, is Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan. The design itself, a soaring skyscraper clad in undulating stainless steel, harkens back to the glory days of the Manhattan skyscraper, while suggesting a new form — a tower that, despite its great height and presence, folds and acquiesces to the surrounding landscape. One could say that it is carved vertically to stand more humbly in the context of the sharp and linear surrounding buildings. What is most interesting is the base of the building, which negotiates between the public and private nature of the project. The public school at the bottom of the building bears a red-brick faade, which is in stark contrast to the gleaming steel above. Whether or not the marriage of the two zones is harmonious aesthetically, it visually denotes the problem at hand, and represents the surrender of architecture ego to public policy.

What is perhaps most needed is a genuine collaboration between architects and policy makers in the continued carving away at the city. The proposed public spaces, funded by the city, could greatly benefit from the minds that are now mostly commissioned by wealthy developers. Architects should take advantage of a time when city and federal money is being spent on space and the reincarnation of the city, instead of spending time promoting their own formal and complicated manifestos.

Kate Brown self portrait

Kate Brown

Bio

Kate Brown has been leaving footprints in concrete and fingerprints on glass all over New York City for the past six years. Next, her vagabond shoes will stray to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a Master's of Architecture, but she looks forward to returning to the City that Never Sleeps.

Christopher Campomanes self portrait

Christopher Campomanes

Bio

Christopher Campomanes is an architectural designer who, like many, moonlights as a photographer. His preferred subjects focus on unique but everyday moments that aim to capture local culture and place.

Statement

During the course of this project I was directed to see how New York underwent a change in pace and direction. A lot of growing concerns (social, environmental, cultural, etc.) were materialized but were not fully expressed to the public and to the city. Some of these expressions of ideas were still in their infancy, undergoing their first major applications and experiments: their results stunted by the sudden economic crisis. Their success or failure delayed or overshadowed by the more general concern of the future of the economy. These changes were a necessary push for the city. It needed to be moved collectively onto something, even against its will. In this light, it may have been a good thing that the cash flow came to a pause... and let us evaluate what we were setting out to do before completion. What that future is may be uncertain but I am positive that good things will come out, eventually, even from some of the failures of these changes.

After all, such is the spirit of this city.

Michell J. Cardona self portrait

Michell J. Cardona

Bio

Michell J. Cardona hails from the city under water known as Toa Baja, Puerto Rico and was transplanted to the Bronx, New York where she practices as a poet, architect, photographer, and artist.

Statement

Over the past ten years New York City has been trying to prepare itself for the 21st century. In the process it is redefining its distinctive urban qualities. This you can see in the typical condos uprooted and looming between brownstones. Sometimes this change is for the better. Other times it is an improvement for those who can afford it, leaving those who do not have the means to relocate and find other ways to make it in the Big Apple. New York City is being reshaped at a very quick pace in boroughs like Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and Queens but has yet to catch on to other boroughs like the Bronx. Developments in the Bronx in my opinion are often eye sores and don't represent an architectural/urban planning golden age. I am glad there are bike lanes and parks are coming back to life but when sitting at a park one should not hold his or her breath due to the stench that arises from the many waste retention sites lining the South Bronx riverfront. Of course there are exceptions, but very few indeed. I would like to look upon this time as a golden age across the five boroughs, one that is slowly trickling down from Manhattan to the other boroughs much like the view in trickle down economics where the rich get richer and the poor will too, eventually? Right? Yes we have proof of that.

Michell J. Cardona

Chad Carpenter self portrait

Chad Carpenter

Bio

Chad Carpenter moved to New York in the fall of 2008 after stints in San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and rust-belt factories in the Midwest. A professional jack-of-all trades and an enthusiastic pedestrian, Chad is fascinated by all environments, built or otherwise.

Aurelija Cepulinskaite-Jara self portrait

Aurelija Cepulinskaite-Jara

Bio

I have a degree in Environmental Engineering and I am presently studying towards a Bachelor of Architecture degree in New York. My experience includes 10 years as a photojournalist in Lithuania as well as varied other experiences in the Arts profession.

Rocco Sabalones Cetera self portrait

Rocco Sabalones Cetera

Bio

Rocco S. Cetera is an amateur photographer, civil engineer and project manager working in the public sector. He was born and raised in New York City.

Statement

On assignment, in my own City, it is hard to compose photos of what has changed without the nagging questions: “How did this happen?” “Does it work?” For help, I would often look to the people in the background. Was this still New York City?

The past ten years have been volatile ones for development in this City. Unlike Beijing and Dubai, our democratic metropolis changed in fits and starts. You can see the lines of debate, spheres of influence, and affects of the economy mirrored in every neighborhood, block-by-block. Each a prism (or funhouse mirror) that resonate, refract, and/or dissipate rays of influences with varied affects and mutations. A naturalist's eye would be helpful in cataloguing our adaptations.

In a rush to meet the supposed demands of the 21st century a little of what made New York unique had to be undermined or lost. Although intermittent, it is still the speed at which the change has come that is so disconcerting. What seemed contextual or deliberate in Manhattan appears alien and forced in the outer boroughs. Strange and new mutations of residential developments and shopping centers are exploding onto the landscape of Staten Island and Far Rockaway. Built so fast that they still appear on Google maps as green patches and dirt roads.

Was this era a turning point in the right direction? We all have our lists of casualties and successes. Again, look to the people in the background. How did they relate to their new environment? True New York, many seemed indifferent to their surroundings: taking their dog for a walk, riding their bike, carrying plastic bags full of groceries. Did they notice the change, too?

James Chororos

Bio

James Chororos has a bachelor's degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University and is currently enrolled in the MArch program at New Jersey Institute of Technology. His photography focuses on the built environment, landscapes, and portraiture.

Michelle Cianfaglione self portrait

Michelle Cianfaglione

Bio

Michelle Cianfaglione received her undergraduate degree in architecture from the University at Buffalo and her masters in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. During her education, she traveled extensively through Italy and Japan studying art and architecture. She is a third generation New Yorker who lives and breathes the culture of the city. Michelle is a published artist, avid photographer, and a member of Design in 5, which is affiliated with the Architectural League of New York. She began her career at Studio Daniel Libeskind and currently works as a project manager for James Harb Architects.

Statement

During the course of the New New York Photography Corps project, I have noticed many urban changes due to the current political administration and the recession of 2009. Considering the two neighborhoods I was assigned, I was able to see mistakes that were being corrected and expansion of older neighborhoods into the future. New Yorkers are beginning to ask the questions of “why” and “what can we do” more often, realizing that they do have an effect on the cityscape.

In Kew Gardens we have an old neighborhood robbed of its original one-family homes and clear green vistas. They have been replaced with cheap developer housing as a response to the dwindling economy, ruining the views of other residents and diminishing the elegant neighborhood. The Bloomberg administration has now put zoning restrictions on heights, materials and locations of these types of developments, so as not to continue adding to this urban disease. The recession has allowed for the types of changes that normally would have never come to a neighborhood such as Kew Gardens. But as soon as they were made, its residents clearly saw that they had to step in and save their homes.

In contrast to the problem of Kew Gardens, Harlem/125th Street is an old neighborhood that is being given an urban face-lift. Because of all the new residential housing, many more amenities have moved into the neighborhood. New schools, shops, signage, banks, movie theaters, and even the area around the Apollo Theater is under construction. Making Harlem more attractive to buyers will only benefit the original residents and take Harlem/125th Street into the 21st century rather than remaining in the past as it always has. It's a shining moment for the people of Harlem, they will be able to show off their neighborhood and reap the benefits.

Beatriz Cifuentes

Bio

Born in Granada, Spain, I moved to Milan to study Design at the Politecnico di Architectura where I took courses in a wide range of subjects, from Industrial Design to Set, Film and Graphic Design. I moved to New York in 1999. Since then, I have worked in graphic design focusing often in projects involving architecture. Since 2004 I have worked for Massimo Vignelli at Vignelli Associates where I am currently Vice President of Design.

Roberto Cipriano

Bio

Roberto Cipriano, AIA, LEED AP is an Associate at the firm Deborah Berke & Partners Architects in Manhattan; his interest in photography began in high school. In July of 2010 Roberto will begin a 2-year sabbatical volunteering his time to design/build a low-resource medical clinic in Borneo.

Roberto de Alba

Bio

Roberto de Alba is founding partner and creative director of Spliteye Multimedia, a Web design and development firm dedicated to the fields of Art and Architecture. Roberto holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and has 20 years of experience in architectural publishing and design of digital media.

Sergio del Campo self portrait

Sergio del Campo

Bio

Architect, 28, from Spain. Master's Degree in Architecture 2006, University of Valladolid, although I developed my thesis at UPC-Barcelona Tech. Besides being Assistant Professor at my old school of architecture, I have practiced in my city home, Barcelona, and New York, where I found a great source of inspiration for photography.

Statement

Honestly, I have lived in New York for the last two years, so I do not have a wide perspective to compare with previous years. I have been quite surprised in this short period of time how fast everything changes (cafes, stores, etc.) when I revisited the same places to take pictures. I think the main efforts to “reshape” the city are still coming, but I take notice of the arrival to the city of star-architects who put their state-of-the-art designs at the service of private interests. I did not feel a great improvement in community facilities and public services, specifically far away from Manhattan. On the other hand, new luxurious condominiums have grown so quickly thanks to development of new areas over unoccupied spaces very close to central areas. Most of the buildings in this decade respond to this golden age, but to its extravagance, unnecessarily waste and fake commitment with eclectic standards and economical power. I consider a summary of some of these problems to be Ground Zero, a clear opportunity that would have worked as a turning point in making new concept for modern cities.

But there are some wonderful examples of new architecture concerned with sustainability, new reuses in construction materials and strong concept designs that face the future with optimism. I am especially pleased with the effort put into making new urban landscapes in such a dense city with minimum space. This makes the city safer and nicer for pedestrians and bikers, which means a city more involved with its citizens and tourists.

Finally, I see the benefits of opening up the city's waterfront, new parks and green routes, restoring old structures for new uses (sport, leisure, cultureÉ) and inviting people to look the city from another perspective; not just taking into consideration these areas as new centers to make money.

Fortunately, I am pretty sure the unique energy and power of New York itself will wolf down every good or bad decision and bear it without any problem. That is the story of The City.

Chintan Desai self portrait

Chintan Desai

Bio

Chintan Desai is a graduate of NJIT New Jersey School of Architecture with a dual degree in Masters of Architecture and Master of Infrastructural Planning — 2000 and works for an architectural firm in Northern New Jersey.

Statement

Predominantly I work in New Jersey but am always looking for opportunities to explore New York City and this Photo Corps Project was a perfect setting.

During my exploration I observed two distinct New Yorks. One is predominantly frequented by tourists, a New York where most of the big developments have taken place. On the other hand there are pockets in the city that need a lot more attention at ground level than merely updating zoning laws. These areas need upgrades in amenities, resources and the reorganization of the urban fabric to attract people to come and stay or make life for those already living there better.

New York is a vibrant city with great energy as witnessed by many immigrants like myself. The newer developments have enhanced this experience. Since transformation in the built environment and response to it by people is an ongoing process, it will be a while before one can categorically state if this truly is a Golden Era.

An area where I feel that the city government should take a stronger stance is the development of World Trade Center site. It is paradoxical to think that the greatest city in the world is still scrambling after 10 years to reinstate its icon.

Chintan Desai

Liz Royden Di Maria

Matthew K. Dionne

Bio

Matthew Dionne is a designer at Polshek Partnership Architects. He resides in Bushwick.

Statement

Like any major metropolis, New York City is constantly changing. Its prominent skyline mimics a chart, depicting periods of growth and decline. Its neighborhoods show equal signs of development and neglect. And its streets carry an ever-evolving population.

The past ten years have brought considerable change to New York: some good, some bad, but all unmistakably new. Change, although not always welcomed, is necessary. And new, although not always understood, is beautiful.

John Donnelly self portrait

John Donnelly

Bio

John Donnelly is a landscape architect, photographer, and artist living and working in Manhattan.

Statement

Above all the past ten years will be seen as a period of transition. As with any period of change I expect that the lost sacred places will be lamented and the new successes celebrated; though of course these will vary from person to person. Vogue projects will be cast in a different light based on future performance, and quiet unknown spaces will emerge as visionary innovations ahead of their time.

The recent past is easily seen as transitory because the events leading to our present condition are more clearly traceable and evident to our cultural awareness. It is difficult to characterize these ebbs and flows as 'good' or 'bad' because frankly, like most things in life they are a little bit of both. These changes will be what they have always been in New York, another chapter in a long constantly evolving narrative.

Though the city has seen it share of (landscape) starchitecture, I feel that more impactful work will be coming from upstarts who are looking to exact small changes; make simple improvements to quality of life. The design profession will be forced to adjust to economic constraints and forge new models and means of practice not based entirely on large capital investments. Change is afoot, and it's a good thing.

Adam Elstein self portrait

Adam Elstein

Bio

Adam Elstein is a Brooklyn based architectural photographer and cg renderer whose work can be seen on www.adamelstein.com. Apart from his professional imaging practice, he teaches photography, digital media, and design at Pratt Institute.

Collin Erickson

Bio

Collin Erickson is currently working on his M-Arch at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. He has always loved the city of New York and has been witness to the many changes that have occurred throughout his time living in the area. His passion for architecture, life and change in the city are expressed through his photography.

Elcin Ertugrul self portrait

Elcin Ertugrul

Bio

Elcin Ertugrul is an architect from Turkey, new to New York.

Cynthia Fels self portrait

Cynthia Fels

Bio

Cynthia Fels is a Masters of Architecture student at the Pratt Institute and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Steve Fisher self portrait

Steve Fisher

Bio

With a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Cooper Union and a Master in Architecture degree from Harvard University, Steve Fisher worked in NYC architectural firms as Associate in Edward Larrabee Barnes/John M. Y. Lee; Associate at John M.Y. Lee/Michael Timchula Associates; and Associate Partner at Davis Brody Bond. Retired, and living with his family in New York City, he continues to pursue his interest in photography, writing and travel.

Statement

The New New York — a city of yesterdays and tomorrows.

As an island of confined dimension (with the exception of periodic landfill expansions), blessed with a coveted deep harbor and hard Manhattan schist rock capable of supporting the tallest structures imaginable, New York City is a place where a willingness to discard the old in favor of the new has always prevailed. Landowners and developers have forever exhibited no compunction to demolish existing structures and replace them with taller and taller buildings. Real estate values rise ever higher; they dictate the changing face of the city. Throughout its economic cycles, New York City has repeatedly re-defined itself. In this respect, the past decade has been no different. After the earlier generations of growth, made possible by the invention of the passenger elevator and structural advancements utilizing non-load-bearing frame construction, the more recent use of lighter materials has pushed buildings further skyward. The advent of computer-aided design models has revolutionized the shapes that our buildings can take.

Perhaps what has distinguished our generation from the past has been the revelation that we should be more mindful of historically and architecturally significant buildings and search for creative solutions to their adaptive re-use. One of our great challenges in the last decade has been how to insert new, taller buildings responding to economic demands while at the same time being responsive to the existing context. With all the new shapes and materials available to designers, it has been easy to ignore one's neighbors, even in the tight quarters of the city. Also, it has been difficult to avoid simply aping the styles of the past; we are so comfortable with their images.

The outer boroughs (as some Manhattanites perceive the other four boroughs) present other issues. Many neighborhoods do not see growth as a priority; rather, they see growth as undesirable. The relatively small size, scale and character, which certain close-knit communities have attained, are features considered worth keeping and protecting, and growth only threatens to destroy their paradise.

The re-zoning implemented during the past ten years has sought to address numerous and diverse planning issues: encouraging residential units in formally commercial buildings near Hudson Street in Manhattan; restricting large-scale residential development in Park Slope to retain the character of the low-rise Brooklyn neighborhood; and adaptive re-use of outmoded structures such as the High Line Park replacing the defunct elevated railroad at Tenth Avenue. While there will always be detractors on each side of the question, I expect this period of New York City's history will ultimately be viewed as one in which planners made responsible attempts to grapple with the many difficult issues facing us. I am optimistic that the New New York City, if its designers pay attention to its past, will re-emerge in the post-9/11 world as a vital and positive place to live, work and play.

Steve Fisher.

Michelle Frankel self portrait

Michelle Frankel

Bio

After completing undergraduate studies in anthropology and mathematics at Emory University, Michelle Frankel set out for California and was trained in architecture at UCLA. While she grew up a Philadelphian, she has been living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan since 2006.

Neil Freeman

Bio

Neil Freeman is an urban planner and artist whose work focuses on cities, lists and maps. He studied art and math at Oberlin College, and planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He lives in Brooklyn.

Emily A. Giese

Bio

Emily Giese works at a small architecture firm in Manhattan that specializes in exterior facade renovation. A favorite activity of hers is bike riding through the boroughs, camera on hand.

Grady B. Gillies self portrait

Grady B. Gillies

Bio

Grady Gillies has lived in New York City for the last six years working as a designer and aspiring architect for the Tokyo-based firm Shigeru Ban Architects. He currently resides in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Glenn Gissler

Bio

Glenn Gissler moved to NYC in 1984 after completing his Architectural Education at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been running Glenn Gissler Design — an interior design studio — since 1987.

Statement

I have lived in New York City for over 25 years. During this time I have lived in a very limited geographic area — never south of Spring St., north of 17th St., east of Fifth Avenue, or west of Hudson — like a small town in the big cityÉÉ

Participating in the New York Photo Corps has given me cause to venture outside of my 'small town' into other some other boroughs and neighborhoods that I was really unfamiliar with. Sure, I have driven through some of the other boroughs on my way to other places, but really stopping to look and see what is happening in the neighboring small towns. In some ways there are many New York Cities.

The question of how the current New York Cities will look to future generations is worth considering. However, I have trouble distinguishing this Bloomberg Period as entirely separate to the city in evolution that I have experience during my 25+ years here. New York City is not the same place as it was 10 years ago, or 25 years ago — superficially the city is more livable, it is generally cleaner, and you can get expensive coffee on almost every corner, but in the process some the dynamism and diversity has unfortunately been dispersed. New York City remains an exciting, complex and vital international city. It is safer and probably less daunting to visitors, but I am certain that it is harder to get a start here than it was when I first moved here.

We can bemoan negative developments and losses of what once was and we can celebrate the positive changes, and the evidence of history that remain, but commerce is and has been one of the primary driving forces in New York City that is forceful and probably unstoppable. In the face of this enormous force it behooves those of us that are concerned with the quality of life and the quality of the built environment to continue to fight for sensitivity and quality. Perhaps the results of the New New York Photo Corps project will give us some valuable insight that can inform the future in a positive way.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this consideration of the New York City of our time.

Glenn Gissler April 2010

Orestes Gonzalez self portrait

Orestes Gonzalez

Bio

Orestes Gonzalez is an Architect and Photographer living in Long Island City, Queens. He has traveled around the world recording the built environment and how it influences people and society in general. www.orestesgonzalezphoto.com

Statement

Today's New York is vastly different than the one I moved to in 1987. Gritty, dangerous, and exciting, that New York offered more opportunities than any other city in the US. But the scars of neglect dotted the landscape. The white flight to the suburbs in the '50s and '60s was exacerbated by the loss of manufacturing jobs, as foreign markets competed with New York for the lion's share of business. Vast stretches of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan lay underused. The metro system was essentially broke, and hotels in key parts of the city were being used to house homeless families and the mentally unstable. Business and tourism declined, property values went down. The resulting tax loss was staggering.

In the mid '80s, the national economy rebounded, and so did the city. And through aggressive policies under the Giuliani Administration and civic groups (Central Park Conservancy, Business Improvement Districts, etc.), the external quality of life in the city improved. Gone were the welfare hotels in Herald Square, the open drug dealings in the parks, the sordidness of Times Square. Marginal neighborhoods became “hot” and expensive (Harlem, Hells Kitchen, Lower East Side), and gentrification jumped across the river to Brooklyn and Queens. The city's tax incentives helped keep the financial industry here, and seduced up-starts in the booming internet, movie, and tourist industries to move to the Big Apple. This drew people back into the city, increasing tax revenues, real estate prices and job opportunities. The city was rolling again.

By the time the Bloomberg Administration took over, New York was in the midst of a renaissance. The tragic events of 9/11 signaled a change as how we would live in our urban bubble and things became uncertain again. But it was a mere blip on the radar. After ten months, the urban economic environment continued to move at a fast pace. Bloomberg's zoning changes to increase density and usage was felt in all five boroughs. We were in a party mode, but it wasn't all good.

In Manhattan the change was most evident, but opportunities to make a long lasting, urban change were lost. We have a large inventory of new corporate towers but almost none are memorable. The debacle of the World Trade Center competition is obvious, but other, smaller instances of missed opportunities are everywhere. Higher taxes due to these zoning changes have forced mom-and-pop stores to close at an alarming rate. Developers have turned historic neighborhoods into malls of glass boxes and chain store consumerism. It is much easier to tear down a 120-year-old brick tenement than it is to respect its facade (let's learn from Paris or Barcelona). Another alarming trend is to wrap a pre-war office tower in reflective glass as part of its “renovation.” This is leaving us with fewer buildings that scream “New York.” We are looking more like Dallas than ever before.

There should be stricter rules to protect facades and neighborhoods in a city whose visual language is imprinted in the minds of people the world over. After all, this is New York.

Jay Gorman self portrait

Jay Gorman

Bio

Jay Gorman is a construction manager residing in Kensington Brooklyn.

Statement

Lap Pool! Spa! Roof Decks! Private Parking! City Views! If a few words could sum up the past decade the marketing taglines for the hundreds of luxury residences built throughout the five boroughs serve as both a reminder of the euphoric building boom and the excess that expedited its eventual decline. The numerous glassy boxes popping up in speculative neighborhoods were underpinned by eager buyers, often hasty design, and questionable banking practices. New wealth and new residents fueled the demand for more and more housing and likewise the city responded. Tax benefits and rezoning radically transformed neighborhoods like northern Manhattan, the South Bronx, Long Island City, and north Brooklyn. Areas long neglected by the cultural and political elite now saw an influx of young condo dwellers, organic grocers, and artisanal pizzerias. National franchises replaced long-standing neighborhood institutions. The suburbs, from where most of the new residents emigrated, found their way into the urban fabric; Whole Foods on the Bowery, Old Navy on 125th Street, Target in downtown Brooklyn, and banks everywhere. As one resident told me, “my neighborhood looks like Anywhere USA.”

However, after Lehman’s collapse in 2008, these areas felt the impact of the crash almost immediately. The glamorous architectural renderings of indoor pools and amenities wrapping scaffolds were replaced by deteriorating plywood enclosures. Once promising projects became vacant concrete shells, excavated lots filled with rain water, and steel skeletons rusted1. Locally owned businesses, already struggling to keep up with rising rents, shuttered while more generic franchises and dollar stores moved in to occupy vacant storefronts. While the economy will rebound, it will be interesting to see how these fringe areas will, for the short-term, cope with the fallout of disinvestment then cautious redevelopment. It is my hope that the city will take a more active and balanced approach to help create sustainable communities that are more resilient to the performance of Wall Street and market trends.

My photographs in this exhibit show two conditions, described above, that interest me the most. First, the way in which suburban iconography and building types creep into small pockets around the city. For example, the gas stations and car washes that dot East New York and Flushing or the virtual gated community at 15 Central Park West. Second, the contrast between new luxury buildings butting up or rising out of existing neighborhoods which one would not typically associate with luxury living.

-Jay Gorman

Footnote: "Building Resources." NYC Department of Buildings. New York City Department of Buildings, 4-4-10. Web. 12 Apr 2010. <http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/guides/snapshot_report.shtml>.

Frank Guittard

Bio

Frank Guittard is a New York City-based designer engaged in architecture. A graduate of Rice School of Architecture, he has a particular interest in how economic policies shape built environments, and how financial networks influence urban geographies. Prior to his career in architecture Frank worked in the financial industry in New York City and Hong Kong.

Statement

A lot of good came out of this past decade, things we will surely appreciate decades from now. What I am most grateful for is that New York’s leaders and citizens by and large listened to architects’ and planners’ ideas, took most of them seriously, and did not always lock them out of the process. After decades of mistrust of architects in general, I think New Yorkers started to have faith again in the architecture profession and what good it could bring to the city. Luckily that included our mayor.

Strangely, I think some of the most successful changes to the city over the past ten years have been the little ones. Bike paths throughout the city. A rethinking of how cars could be parked to make streets more bike-friendly. Elegant, modern stainless news kiosks. Chairs in Times Square that look like you can just walk away with them. (Whoever first proposed putting simple chairs on the street people can steal, but replaced very cheaply, is a genius.)   Collectively, these pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly initiatives represent a push against Robert Moses' efforts to accommodate the automobile. If Moses' vision was to bring New York City into the 20th century by embracing the automobile, Mayor Bloomberg's vision for the 21st century seems to be the opposite, rejecting the automobile and embracing a vibrant street life.

It seems every neighborhood boomed during the decade. Though one seems to have missed out on all the fun, and it's a story no one cares to write about: The Upper East Side continued to add more nails to its coffin as a dying capital of art and architecture. (Yes, there was a time when the hip were uptown; even Andy Warhol lived there.) The story uptown was not what happened, but what didn't. The neighborhood shot down the Whitney's expansion design by Rem Koolhaas. When the museum then hired Renzo Piano to come up with a design less architecturally aggressive, those too were rejected. Norman Foster's designs for a residential tower on Madison Avenue were repeatedly scaled back.   All of these projects, it was said, were not contextual to the neighborhood. It leaves me wondering - could the Guggenheim or Whitney be built on the Upper East Side today?

Lastly, one cannot discuss the architecture over the last decade in New York without mentioning Ground Zero. The subject may have passed from the discourse of high architecture, but it rightly remains one of the biggest stories of the era. Decades from now I am convinced there will be astonishment that the fate of rebuilding the World Trade Center was ultimately left to one man, a real estate developer who had no prior experience - or apparent interest - in constructing a new building. It is a testament to how much power private developers really do hold in New York. That the Bloomberg administration did not condemn Ground Zero and take it over must surely be seen as one of the biggest missed opportunities in history of New York. It is too painful to think what could have been.

Joy Gutierrez

Bio

Joy Gutierrez is an architect and urban designer living and working in New York. An urbanist at heart, she is interested in cities and city living, and has primarily focused on master plans in different countries. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.

Carolina Guzmán-Restrepo self portrait

Carolina Guzmán-Restrepo

Bio

Carolina Guzmán-Restrepo was born in Bogotá, Colombia and had lived in the United States for the past six years. Her studies in Architecture reinforced her understanding of space, light, shadow, frame and time. She explores these subject matters in her interdisciplinary design work.

Gregory J. Haley

Bio

Gregory Haley is an architect and urban planner living in New York City. He is currently a Senior Architect with Grimshaw Architects in New York City.

Statement

The transformations that New York City has undergone over the last ten years, and continues to undergo, are far greater than what can be photographed. What has visibly changed is but a snapshot of a potential future(s) made possible by the aggressive pursuit of re-zoning and other public space and infrastructural planning initiatives that have characterized the Bloomberg administration. The real structural changes will take decades to be fully realized, and surely they will all constitute a significant chapter in the history of New York City planning for both their ambition and forward-looking vision.

In the meantime, however, the first exuberant response has surely been mixed at best. While the opening of the High Line has been duly celebrated as a triumph of preservation and innovative public space design, and the adjacent architecture it has inspired is some of the of the most progressive seen in New York for years, other, less central parts of the city, have not fared so well as newly enlarged zoning envelopes have been stuffed with less than inspiring luxury condominium towers, chain stores, and ATMs.

Now that the grip of development fervor has slowed, if not nearly stopped, perhaps room can be made for a locally generated, smaller scale development, both social and physical.

The larger framework of the planning initiatives emanating from City Hall is certainly rife with opportunity. The key to its ultimate success however, will be the ability to define these opportunities as urban, social, and cultural opportunities, not purely business opportunities.

Jason Hill self portrait

Jason Hill

Bio

Jason Hill is an architectural design consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. Jason has six years of experience in architecture and has worked with MGA Partners, Architects in Philadelphia and McKay Architecture/Design and Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects in New York.

Rachel Hillery self portrait

Rachel Hillery

Bio

Rachel Hillery is a current M. Arch student at GSAPP, and holds a B.A. in Psychology and B.F.A. in Photography from Washington University.

Statement

As a recent New Yorker, I can only partially comprehend the radical changes to the urban environment brought about by the redevelopment of waterfront areas and Times Square. I also do not feel that I have the perspective to comment on the future validity of the changes. Perhaps the transformative work on Broadway as a pedestrian thoroughfare will be as appreciated as Copenhagen's Stroget. What I would like to comment on is my enjoyment of the new public spaces that have been carved out of the urban environment, from Hudson River Park, to Gantry Park, to the High Line. The success of these parks lies in creating beautiful moments that make you appreciate your context from a new perspective and reframe your view of the city.

Kirsten Hively self portrait

Kirsten Hively

Bio

When not busy with her work at a SoHo-based architecture firm or studying for her architecture licensing exams, Kirsten Hively enjoys many extra-curricular activities including teaching, photography, writing, and cheesemaking. She lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and often rambles on at catasterist.com about her design obsessions, most recently volvelles.

Muriel Jara self portrait

Muriel Jara

Bio

Muriel Jara is a Mexican-trained architect (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City) who has lived for the past ten years in New York City (where she also studied at Parsons School of Design). She has a passion for both photography and the city.

Gabriel Jewell-Vitale self portrait

Gabriel Jewell-Vitale

Bio

Gabriel Jewell-Vitale a fourth year architecture student at Syracuse University studying in New York City in fall 2009, and Florence, Italy in spring 2010.

Statement

As New York City thrusts itself into the twenty-first century, it seems hard-fought to suggest the past decade was a triumphal decade of architecture and planning. While individual projects of merit developed and created a smattering of insertions into Manhattan's dense fabric, larger re-developments in past decades had a larger total impact on neighborhoods and demographics than those of the past ten years. The wealth and productive impact in New York City during the 2000's certainly was felt through a change in ideology and strictness of policy that lead to the greatest decrease in crime rate since 1963. Consequently, the built environment, as well as the overall addition of both specific infrastructural and architectural insertions, helped to develop an overall appeasement in the public conscious within building technology and design that followed the policies of the government within the last decade. It is these visible insertions that speak to a greater degree of “individualistic” visions, helping to define a sector or a local condition. Harlem, for instance, saw revitalization north of 125th Street along Malcolm X Boulevard as the Bloomberg administration changed building codes to create a more commercial- and public-friendly sector for the city. This political policy enactment would not have gone underway without the public renovation of a New York Public Library extension, among others, that paved the way for success in the area.

As a result, it can be said that the overall success of revitalization and capitalistic progress can be attributed to small-scale insertions that, in a small way, helped to maintain the city's composure in a time plagued by economic misfortune and a tragic rupture in the city's historical fabric.

Sheryl Jordan self portrait

Sheryl Jordan

Bio

Sheryl Jordan is a denizen of the Lower East Side and has been an architectural designer and project manager at Specht Harpman since 2006.

Statement

Having lived in New York City since 2006, I can hardly claim to speak to the city as it was before 2001. What has become apparent to me is that the city is, and always has been, in a permanent state of flux. There is no “golden age of New York;” no one era of building is more deserving of preservation than all the others. What should be preserved at all costs is the diversity of the urban fabric -- the state of the city as a reflection of all ages simultaneously. The streets here are as legible as a history book to anyone who takes the time to read them.

In regards to the legacy of the “Bloomberg era,” I have mixed feelings. As an architect, I came to New York because of the large number of world-class firms working here. Many architects I admired in school have made their mark on this city since 2001, and an almost overwhelming amount of contemporary design is accessible to me here as an “observer of architecture.” But the real value of the urban fabric I have discovered is far more than the face presented in the glossy pages of design magazines, bankrolled by superstar clients and pushed through by powerful developers. The vital culture of this city is in not the Gehry towers or Herzog and de Meuron lofts; but in the bike lanes, street art installations, pocket parks, pop-up storefront galleries and public/private collaborations; the small-to-medium scale (often temporary) interventions that give the city its rhythm and energy. Bloomberg has had a hand in both the large, privately-funded, overblown development projects but also in the grass-roots efforts that keep this city alive for its residents.

Many of my photographs show the results of poor planning on the part of developers that have left half-built blights throughout so many neighborhoods. The economic collapse of recent years has been a mixed blessing, as it has prevented many ill-conceived and bloated projects from seeing completion. Unfortunately these stalled projects are so underwater and tied up in legal issues that nothing beneficial can be made of the building sites, and the neighborhoods suffer. I hope the administration will find a creative way for neighborhoods to reclaim these sites for mutually beneficial uses, such as the beautiful “squatter gardens” in the East Village.

A delicate balance between preservation and innovation requires sensitivity on the part of city planners and ingenuity at the level of small creative organizations, and fearless communication between the two and the residents who will be impacted. Much of the beauty of this city is unplanned, a result of diverse influences competing. This should be protected and encouraged. But much of the beauty is also a result of careful oversight and planning, and the results of this that remain from all eras (so far as they still play a vital role in the life of the city) should be cared for and, most importantly, learned from.

Zachary Joslow self portrait

Zachary Joslow

Bio

Zachary Joslow is a Brooklyn based architect, artist, and educator.

Moiz A. Kapadia self portrait

Moiz A. Kapadia

Bio

Moiz Kapadia enjoys traveling, riding his bike, photography, and cooking. He is currently working as an engineer for Arup, a design and consulting firm.

Lihui Ke self portrait

Lihui Ke

Bio

“The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.” -Frank Barron

Statement

Partaking in the New New York Photo Corps project has given me an opportunity to reflect on this city more comprehensively. I visited and photographed neighborhoods I'd never set foot on and revisited others which I barely recalled the name of its corresponding train station. However, I must admit that the revitalization that has taken place in the last ten years has failed to impress me from an architecture and infrastructure standpoint.

That is not to say that the urban revitalization schemes have been unsuccessful, but rather slow at affecting the city as a whole. It could easily take another decade for its current ongoing private and public developments to fully realize and begin to impact the city and its surrounding inhabitants. I do not see New Yorkers embracing this slow and painful route towards architectural embellishments. There have not been any significant architectural additions to the city in over a decade. Only a few well-designed, sustainable and functioning buildings have reached completion. They also barely tap the city skyline. What was taken away back in 9/11 is actually more of a present 'void' than the few additions worth mentioning (the New York Times Building, WT7, and the Standard Hotel).

The World Trade Center site's reconstruction has been extremely sluggish due to the enormous rounds of approvals needed per change order as well as its massive scale. It isn't privately funded like new World Trade 7 Tower, which stands proud and glistens almost mockingly at its neighboring WTC site. It was built at unprecedented speed thanks to an efficient and unified team of builders. However, once realized, the WTC site will be New York City's most memorable new development for many decades to come. It is a much-needed reconstruction and its realization should remain a prime focus even in our current economic downshift.

At present, my most cherished piece of new infrastructure in New York City would have to be the adaptive reuse of the High Line. Since its opening earlier last year, this elevated lush structure has attracted enormous crowds of visitors and residents alike. Though it isn't fully realized, it is already gentrifying all of the neighborhoods along it.

Being an optimist and opportunist, I am confident that New York City will survive any curve ball it receives and eventually thrive. Having left only recently, I began and continue to appreciate its intensity more each day. The energy, even in its over-used pavements filled with layers of gum and grime, and the density and scale of the infrastructure that keeps its expectant population on the constant go, is simply admirable. I believe it is brewing towards its long awaited Golden Age of the 21st century.

Bryan Kelley

Bio

Bryan Kelley received a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee in 2005. He is currently working as a designer for Weiss/Manfredi Architects.

Alexander Kliment self portrait

Alexander Kliment

Bio

Alexander Kliment is a native New Yorker. Over the past ten years he has worked and written for The Architectural League, The Financial Times, and his desk drawer. He is currently a specialist on Russian and Middle Eastern affairs for a global consulting firm, and lives in Brooklyn. Alexander is almost always spotted in the wild with a bicycle and/or camera.

Sofia Koutsenko self portrait

Sofia Koutsenko

Bio

Architect, 26, born in Penza, Russia. Immigrated to the States in 1995 following three years of living in Israel. Moved to New York after completing a five year degree in Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. Have been working in an architecture office in New York for almost three years.

Statement

I do not feel that the revitalization in the built New York over the last ten years affected negatively its unique urban qualities and distinguished character. New York has always been a city that adapts well to varying ideas and demands from its residents. However, I do feel that the changes have not truly prepared New York for how we expect to be living in the future.

As I walked the neighborhoods and paid attention to the gaps, the infill, the old, the new, and the abandoned, I felt the presence of scattered ideas rooted mostly in building for the sake of building and assuming the need will be there.

The excitement about the prospects of hyperactive progress ten years ago has been muted by the economic frustrations of our time. For a moment we are allowed to reflect on what has been done and, as a result, approach new decisions with better vision and understanding of New York's overall place among other progressive cities.

Zhan Kuang

Bio

Zhan Kuang is a registered architect working in New York City. She is obsessed by the buildings in the city as well as the unique city spaces you couldn't find anywhere else in the world.

Kate Larsen self portrait

Kate Larsen

Bio

Kate Larsen received her M.Arch in 2007 from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and her B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University a number of years before that. When she is not taking photos or working, Kate enjoys cooking, listening to music at loud volumes, and lounging in various Brooklyn parks.

Ephraim Lasar self portrait

Ephraim Lasar

Bio

Ephraim Lasar is an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. He has lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for 5 years.

Ana Leshchinsky self portrait

Ana Leshchinsky

Bio

Ana Leshchinsky is a NYC based Russian-Israeli Architect and Photographer.

She graduated from Cornell University with a B.Arch and M.Arch focused on Urbanism, Sustainability and Ecology.

James F. Lima self portrait

James F. Lima

Bio

James has spent his career at the intersection of real estate development and design, contributing to the revitalization of city neighborhoods, waterfronts, and parks. With the Public Art Fund, he co-produced the book Governors Island: Photographs by Lisa Kereszi & Andrew Moore. He lives in Lower Manhattan.

Michael Lo

Bio

Michael Lo is a Native New Yorker and lives in Queens. He is a practicing Structural Engineer in NYC.
Sam Loring self portrait

Sam Loring

Bio

Sam graduated from Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning and Design in 2006 and works for an architecture firm in Tribeca.  He currently resides in Astoria, Queens.

Statement

Progress is always a double-edged sword. On one hand we have gained some fantastic new buildings while providing a nurturing environment for new ideas, yet on the other hand we have cleansed the city of so much of the grit and dirt that once gave it so much charm. The wonderful thing about New York City is that no matter what travesty befalls, it always endures. With so many people and ideas flowing in and out, the city it is constantly being renewed and recreated. Nothing ever stays the same; once the city becomes stagnant it will die. Neighborhoods are neglected, then revitalized, then neglected again. While it used to take decades for neighborhoods to fall in and out of fashion, advances in technology have sped up these trends to years and months. As long as the core diversity and unrestrained spirit of the city remain, its physical form is very much irrelevant.

Erik Madsen self portrait

Erik Madsen

Bio

Erik Madsen, P.E. is a structural engineer in charge of Madsen Engineering. He has worked in New York City for almost 10 years designing high-rises and renovations.

Statement

The architecture of the past ten years has clearly redefined the city for the better. This past decade has birthed landmarks that a future commission will fight to preserve for decades and maybe centuries. New York, as if it was ever out, has catapulted squarely back to the front of the architectural market and has aligned it again with the best cities in the world. Unlike Dubai, the new monoliths of New York are powerful without being gargantuan. They are sustainable financially, socially and usually aesthetically.

To claim that by the development that has occurred in the past ten years New York has lost its unique urban qualities is impossible. New York City is a city of progress. New construction throughout the city has challenged the status quo and moved neighborhoods forward, not always with their consent. On the flip side, the Landmarks Commission, while it may sometimes not feel like it, also made incredible strides. It has preserved not only individual structures but entire neighborhoods through official Landmarks and encouragement of zoning laws. Both the new and the old in the city have been remarkably well balanced.

So what is the unique urban quality that may have been lost? The old graffiti-covered subway stations are no more. The sultry danger and uniqueness of the Lower East Side are now timid. Harlem has become an advertisement of gentrification. Pre-war buildings that continued endlessly down uniform side streets now have an obelisk of condominiums slicing their fabric.

And while it is always sad to see the end of an era, these thrilling idylls of romanticized urban blight and formaldehyde-steeped neighborhoods are out of place in New York. When they are urban blight, see Detroit, scant few are interested. While they possess beauty in many capacities, they only exist that way in that brief second when a neighborhood has survived untouched long enough to become attractive for a new generation of artists and residents whose trail leads to the unfortunate inevitable whitewashing of the neighborhood. An architectural shooting star perhaps.

When these idylls are neighborhoods clustered into pieces of history they start to form a living museum. And while preserving neighborhood fabric is always important, too many museum blocks will kill the essential core of what makes New York tick. And what makes New York tick is progress.

Shu Wei Herman Mao self portrait

Shu Wei Herman Mao

Bio

Shu Wei Herman Mao is an architect, urban planner, photographer, and creative strategist in communications who has lived in New York for different periods since 2000, most recently for the last three years.

Liz Royden Di Maria

Bio

Liz Di Maria is an artist/architectural designer born in Ashland, Kentucky and holds a Masters of Architecture degree from Parsons, The New School for Design and a B.A. of Art History from the University of Kentucky. For the past three years, I have photographically documented the residential dwellings and interstitial spaces of the small seaside community of Margate, New Jersey, a suburb of Atlantic City. A curious blend of disparate architectural elements and sometimes-awkward proportions, these images can be seen at www.Lizdimaria.com.
Karl Mascarenhas self portrait

Karl Mascarenhas

Bio

Karl Mascarenhas is a practicing architect who has lived and worked in Mumbai, New Haven and, over the last three years, New York City. He has studied at The School of Architecture at Yale University and lectured at the Yale Divinity school. He has been a guest critic at NYIT and has had his work exhibited in a number of exhibitions including the recently concluded international travelling exhibition 'Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future.' Karl currently works at the New York office of Foster and Partners.

Jesse Mintz-Roth

Bio

Jesse Mintz-Roth has been photographing NYC streetscapes since moving here in 2002. He received his Master of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2008, and now works as a city planner at the New York City Department of Transportation.

Sara Moss self portrait

Sara Moss

Bio

Sara Moss is a designer who also photographs and writes about architecture. Her work can be found at www.theparticular.com.

Statement

I have worked the majority of the past ten years downtown, and at least half of that time I have spent in Lower Manhattan. I have experienced that particular urban landscape through the office windows, outside at lunchtime, or on walks after work, when, usually, the sun has already set. And so I am attracted to night, and architecture's relationship with artificial light. Many of my photographs for New New York were shot after dark, in black and white, to emphasize the contrast between light and building. I am also interested in the temporary type of 'place' created by construction; the changing landscape of equipment, barricades, building materials, workers, and passersby. Photography has given me a separate path that runs parallel to design work: a way to continue my own study, and somewhat romantic view, of architecture.

For transportation infrastructure, the specialty in which I practice, the past decade has been a time of significant growth and public discussion. I have focused mainly on these types of projects, as well as buildings that are either public in function, or have a significant visual influence on the city.

New York will never be finished. Now, however, we are experiencing an intense change in our built environment. Will New Yorkers look back on this time as a golden age for New York City's architecture and planning? Perhaps the answer can be determined once many high-visibility projects are complete, and look of this new New York will fully emerge.

Kyle O

Kyle O'Connor

Bio

Kyle O'Connor lives in Brooklyn and is an Assistant Landscape Architect for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. In fall 2010, he will be attending the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a Master of Architecture.

Statement

While the world is rapidly urbanizing, existing cities, such as New York, are scrambling to keep up with the new approaches to architecture and urban design. Techniques that consider resource and energy conservation, tight security, and a struggling economy are becoming the norm due to sweeping changes that have recently taken place around the globe.

Priorities are being placed on designing more livable cities — places that are affordable, accessible, functional, and comfortable for people while being as ecologically sensitive as possible. These places require high density and a great deal of infrastructure, both of which need to be handled with care. New cities have the ability to easily build livable, sustainable places from scratch. Older cities, like New York, are faced with a more challenging situation. The infrastructure of these cities is often outdated and rapidly becoming ineffectual as per today's evolving standards. Improvements and updates are much more difficult to execute within the context of an existing, complex city, but are also essential to the continued vitality of those places.

New York's new developments are expected to make it a more livable place. However, there are also concerns that this sort of development will strip the city of its unique urban qualities. Many new built projects are adhering to a set of methods and materials that have become widespread and generic. New York ought to be employing smart, genuine approaches that respond to local conditions. This will ensure the continuation of the city's distinct characteristics. If New York focuses on using new opportunities in the world to make the right decisions for its built environment, then the city will prosper as a diverse, healthy, exceptional place.

Divya Pande self portrait

Divya Pande

Bio

Divya Pande was born and raised in Houston, TX. She received her B.Arch from Rice University and now works as an architect here in New York.

Dave Pinter self portrait

Dave Pinter

Bio

Dave Pinter is a New York based concept designer and photographer/writer. He is a Senior Editor for PSFK.com and covers architecture, automotive design and marketing, and product innovation.

Statement

Looking at the effects of development over the past ten years in New York City really depends on the area of focus. It is possible to have a skewed perspective when you look at areas like Williamsburg and Long Island City where there was a significant amount of new development. More outlying neighborhoods haven't really felt as much of the impact. In the case of Williamsburg, you had a lot of forces coming together to ignite rapid change: the closeness to Manhattan via the L train, lots of loft space that could be converted, and a good amount of available land for new buildings. After the area got popular with artists and creatives, a building boom was almost inevitable. The area transformed from affordable lofts for artists to a luxury condo community almost overnight. And with that, much of the creative edge of Williamsburg has been lost.

Manhattan has certainly gained some new buildings in the last ten years that reflect 21st century thinking. And thankfully some of them aren't high-end residential structures. 41 Cooper Square by Morphosis is a welcome addition that engages the surrounding neighborhood in an interesting way. Sadly this sort of lateral thinking is missing from many other development projects in the city. But maybe having Cooper Union as an example will inspire the next wave.

I don't believe the beginning of the 21st century will be noted as being a golden age for architecture and planning. The economic fallout will likely forever overshadow it. On the commercial/residential side what stands out most about the last decade is it was a playground for speculators and opportunists. We now see quite a few neighborhood skylines dotted with partially filled luxury condos. All these buildings are mostly created from the same faux-modern ingredients.

This is not to say nothing good came from this period of time. Urban parks are experiencing a renaissance in New York City. Hudson River Park, the High Line, and Brooklyn Bridge Park are all fantastic case studies of how neglected sites can be transformed into thriving community spaces. If anything should be remembered, it should be the successes of those projects.

Maria Rabinovich

Bio

I loved participating in this project because I came to New York with the intention of getting to know the city, and going out in search of images is a great way to experience it. Starting in September I will be a student in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch. I am ready for a completely new experience, but I will bring to it my interests in design and people’s interaction with the built environment.

Statement

This experience reinforced a feeling that this city is extremely difficult to capture in still images. Its constant flux and growth are integral to its character, and the developments I have tried to capture seem insignificant in light of a bigger picture.

I don’t know enough to make a serious prediction about the significance of this decade in the city’s future “retrospective manifesto,” but discontent with the new focus on real estate development and its accompanying aesthetic is undeniably widespread. I have been living in Williamsburg, where tall condominium buildings have been rising between us and our view of the city. A few years ago my friends had long conversations and went on tirades about the audaciousness of these projects.  But during the past year several neighborhood press and advocacy groups have distributed so much literature deploring these projects, and so many people have articulated the dilemma so clearly, that the topic has left the realm of casual conversation. Now people shake their heads knowingly and apathetically when they see the latest glass tower. It is a tired subject. This popular discontent is ubiquitous, and has leaked into the press, literature, visual and performing arts, and legislation. It already defines the way that such projects are viewed, advertised, and treated, and will probably influence the next era of construction.

I hope leading edge architecture continues to infiltrate the public consciousness, but through (universally) interesting solutions that validate its encroachment on the city’s aesthetic.

Orlando Rivera-Carrión

Bio

"To those who watch, everything is revealed" - Anonymous proverb
Orlando Rivera-Carrion is an architectural designer and passionate, practicing observer. Sometimes through a camera lens, sometimes not. He currently resides in New York City.
W. Gavin Robb self portrait

W. Gavin Robb

Bio

W. Gavin Robb is an architectural photographer, graphic designer, and intern architect based in Brooklyn. He currently engineers trim and ornament for a high-end plaster manufacturer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and will be pursuing a Masters in Architecture this fall.

Edward Rojas self portrait

Edward Rojas

Bio

Edward Rojas is originally from Southern California. However, upon visiting, experiencing and now living in New York City he says he will probably never go back. He explores architecture, design, photography and traveling in his free time.

Statement

I believe this past decade will perhaps be looked at as a time of excess. Was it golden? One could possibly say that just by noting the sheer number of buildings that have been built. The large sums of money needed to fund some of these projects were available, and used. Was it the best way to spend money? Who knows? If one goes walking around the West Side or Meatpacking District they will see countless "starchitect" projects where the prices to move in are utterly outrageous. It's like a giant playground for new/contemporary architecture there. Also in other neighborhoods there are lots of empty buildings, just sitting there as a home for animals and insects.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the new built world because to me architecture is a form of art (or at least can be). It can be expensive or not, but ultimately has to be functional. It has to stand, shelter, engage and be one with the environment. People have to interact, live and ultimately approve of it. Does that always happen? No. But in the case of the High Line it seems to be working. A new public park + new architecture = a new added pulse in the city. Maybe it's because it has provided a way for the public to escape the city, so regardless of what was put there it would be a hit.

However, this crisis that we are now in has slowed down the grand visions of many architects and planners just a bit. Maybe now we need to take a step back and look at what is essential to our built world. Maybe we don't need an architecture that is full of flash and pop because upon leaving the immediate city that is Manhattan (and even outside of the USA), one will begin to see forms of architecture that are far less, shall we say, “awe inspiring.” It seems that here, architecture's role is to simply be able to operate and provide the essentials to its inhabitants.

Of course, this is one of the architect's challenges, right? To create something that is functional in every aspect of its users' lives while also adding beauty to the built world. Who knows where the next decade will lead us? Perhaps it will be a time of refinement and enlightenment. It seems that now we will have to look at architecture on a more global scale, and we will have to be more environmentally conscious in our ways of designing, living and building so we can secure our future on our one and truly only home, Earth.

Micah Roufa

Bio

Micah Roufa is an artist and architectural designer based in New York City. He is a principal of Pre_Post, an architectural design and fabrication practice.

Carrie Salter

Bio

High end interior residential architectural designer from 1985 — 1999, working for firms including Gruzen Samton, Peter Marino, Alexander Gorlin, Naomi Leff, and Haverson Rockwell (pre Rockwell Group).

In 1999 helped found and ran DSA Builders Inc. a high end residential interior construction company until November 1999. Currently, at work on a variety of residential projects with S Donadic Construction Inc.

Mauricio Sanchez Santander

Bio

Born Bogota, Colombia. Architect, Designer Javeriana University, Modernist designer, with a great desire to reflect the importance of humane Urban Spaces.

Statement

The transformation experience by New York City and surrounding areas in the last ten years it's the result of interventions, from both the private and public sectors. The urban projects began to take shape in the early '90s. Maybe even before.

You could visualize the City into four sectors: Downtown, Midtown, Uptown and the borders with the Rivers. It was clearly identified, the Financial District needed to be revived, Midtown required a new image, Uptown could be redeveloped, and the borders could become Green Spaces.

The transformation of Times Square is evident. I went away from NYC for a period of four years between 1996 and 2000, and when I returned, the city felt different. “Times Square” had become a tourist attraction, Terminal One at JFK was a new gate to the world, and that was only the beginning. In the next ten years, fueled by the subprime market, we would witness a boom in the construction industry. I was to work for the next six years in three major projects: the relocation of the Fulton Fish Market to Hunts Point; a feasibility study for Pier 14, to redevelop the area as a Cultural / Hotel; and the Marketa Internacional, a revitalization project underneath Metro North between 111th and 116th Streets.

But that was not the only thing we witnessed. The events of September 11, 2001 would change life in this Modern World Paradise. I don't think life in NYC will ever be the same, not for those who experienced that tragic date. Nevertheless the transformation continues, we are high spirited people. New York today it's a more humane city, recovering, and vibrating at a different beat. Working hard to reestablish the equilibrium between pedestrians and vehicles, between hard surfaces and green surfaces, providing affordable housing and better services.

Maurice Sanchez Santander

Jon Schramm self portrait

Jon Schramm

Bio

Jon received his MArch from Parsons the New School for Design. He lives in Brooklyn and is a freelance designer, illustrator, architect. Jon is currently a faculty member in the SCE at Parsons.

Statement

Architecture is always evolving, always changing. That's what keeps it relative and alive. So many different factors effect architecture; push and pull it in unforeseen directions. In a city as vast as New York, these factors will always challenge the way we build and the way we perceive architecture. The Photo Corps has been an amazing way to reflect on the last decade of building in New York. We have captured a wide range of scales exploring the city from individual moments in street life to the larger boroughs. The photographs in the exhibition attempt to depict the everyday mundane activities that shape our city but also the greater economic, political, and social fact.

Alexander Severin

Bio

Alexander Severin studied and worked as an architect for several years before turning his attention to architectural photography. Through his personal and professional work, Mr. Severin explores the conventions of representing the built environment in the practice of architecture and in the world of photography in general. His personal work focuses on issues of perception, perspective and spatial representation. For more information, please visit www.alexanderseverin.com.

Katherine Demetriou Sidelsky self portrait

Katherine Demetriou Sidelsky

Bio

Katherine Demetriou Sidelsky holds a Master's degree in Architecture from Columbia University where she received the Kinne Fellowship to study and photograph architecture in Budapest. Katherine has ten years of work experience with SOM and Peter Marino in New York, and Ellerbe Becket and Richard Keating at DMJM in Los Angeles. She is currently enrolled at the International Center of Photography in New York to develop her passion for Architectural Photography.

Ashley Simone self portrait

Ashley Simone

Bio

Ashley Simone is trained as an architect and lives in New York City where she engages in architecture through photography, writing, drawing, and her work in the construction industry for Ryan Associates. She holds a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The College of William and Mary.

Statement

The January 15, 2007 cover of The New Yorker featured an illustration of a bird perched on a building overlooking a crane rising out of a construction site with concrete slabs of a rising tower in the foregroundÑa prospering city under construction and amidst change. When this issue of The New Yorker came out I was just five months away from completing my masters degree in architecture and this image generated optimism for what lay ahead post graduation. This optimism was short lived. In a New York Times article, dated October 20, 2008, Nicolai Ouroussoff said: “The wild, delirious ride that architecture has been on for the last decade looks as if it's finally coming to an end.”i His statement foreshadowed the lay-offs that were to come for many of the talented people I completed graduate school with.

By visual account of the changes the city has undergone in just the last couple of years, an interest in design and the ability to create and build has been sustained over the past decade. This is evident in the re-development of the World Trade Center, interventions such as the High Line, and changes at Lincoln Center which have generated a heightened awareness of the potential design has to affect behavior and develop the character of New York's built environment. Additionally, city planning efforts have resulted in waterfront developments on the Hudson, in Brooklyn, and on Staten Island that are changing how New Yorkers use the city recreationally. The last ten years have been a delirious ride for architecture; however, I believe we are at a turning point. There is a lag with respect to the visible register of the economic downturn on New York City--the current economic climate will visibly affect the next ten years. The result will be a suppressed version of what architecture could offer. The lack of optimism that is presently obvious in my peers working in the industry is still making its way to the surfaces of the city.

1 Ouroussoff, Nicolai. “Art and Commerce Canoodling in Central Park”. The New York Times. October 20, 2008.

Andreas Symietz self portrait

Andreas Symietz

Bio

German-educated and registered architect, work experience of four years with Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) in Paris and Genoa and since 2003 with Pei Partnership Architects (PPA) in New York. Extensive interest in the arts particularly in water-coloring and photography.

Statement

New York was, is and will be a city in the making. New York is never finished but continuously reinvents itself. It represents great aspirations and is a built image of human striving, a symbol for dreams as well as achievements. It is a city of great diversity and even within one borough its character changes substantially, yet a strong sense of this special character “New York” prevails at every place. The antagonistic forces of conservation and change can be felt at every step. Both the resistance to anything new and the unflinching excitement to dare the impossible are omnipresent.

In this sense I experienced all new projects as part of the existing fabric of New York City. None, not even a landmark project, however spectacular as an individual building, could stand alone and isolated from its urban setting. Each project is forced to engage in a dialogue with the rest of New York, no monologue is permissible, no matter how grand or ambitious the building seems to present itself. New York as a whole simply takes over, yet the new building becomes part of this formative entity called “New York” and will in turn redefine the city. In this light I see the architectural activity of the past ten years as part of the bigger picture in the historical growth of New York, a phase of extraordinary additions and developments, but not as a revolution that changes the face of the city. New York remains true to itself: Ever-changing and gradually transforming itself and the people that live in it.

Alexei Tajzler self portrait

Alexei Tajzler

Bio

Alexei is an exterior restoration architect from New York and an amateur historian.

Statement

New York has never been a static city. Every aspect of its landscape has evolved — the immigrants, the geography, the architecture, and the industry. Buildings, structures, and developments happen to be the most photogenic and most contusive to past versus present comparisons for those willing to study and compare.

Over the course of our city's history, each new development has had both its fiercest detractors and loyalist defenders, with debates raged on not dissimilar to the opinions put forth in this exhibition.

However time will drown out any voice if one waits long enough.

Despite a small and very knowledgeable niche of experts and historians, the everyday New Yorker does not view their city as static. Much like a child views their home as always theirs, regardless of the age and past tenants; we view our city as pronounced, fixed, and eternal. We don't question its place in the world, or why it's here. We simply know New York. It's always been there and always will.

New buildings may change the skyline of the city from one angle or postcard viewpoint, but New York is so massive and seemingly endless that new construction can fade into the background for a New Yorker just as easy as it grossly sticks out to the critic.

Perhaps this is because of the strict grid system, deafening density, or rigid infrastructure. Perhaps it's because the city is filled with newcomers and visitors who have no memory of the city's past. Or perhaps New Yorkers may view change and progression in other ways - in style, personal rights, thoughts, or actions. Those are changes on a more relatable scale, a more human scale. Buildings are a scale of their own.

And thus, they are part of greater collective landscape of New York, standing far above us as silent reminders of what once was, but exist for the now. I don't believe I can predict how New Yorkers in the future will judge our changes in the past ten years — despite how dramatic, horrific, interesting, joyous, or overwhelming they may seem to us.

I think they'll just view it as home.

Jason A. Tax

Bio

Jason Tax is a licensed architect and urban planner who, in 2006, founded his own practice, Jason Tax Architecture LLC. Jason is a Pratt Institute faculty member and has worked for a number of firms including Gehry Partners, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, and Agrest & Gandelsonas. With degrees from Columbia and Cornell, Jason is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

Kalina Toffolo self portrait

Kalina Toffolo

Bio

Kalina Toffolo is an architect in New York City and has studied at both Columbia University and Kent State University. She has learned through her travels to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia that her passions lies not only in architecture, but in many areas including photography, music, and many areas of design.

Statement

Part of me does not feel qualified to answer such a foretelling question having only lived in New York for four years. However, I also feel as though I have a unique perspective having frequently visited the city as a sort of tourist for a period of about two years prior to living here.

I believe the change is exciting and would look back on this time from the future as time of prosper despite the economic setting, even if that is somewhat of a naive perspective. With visions of the New York Times building, the High Line and surrounding modern developments, and the new Brooklyn Bridge Park underway, I see an era of anticipation for an expanding and demanding future. But also, I look to scrutinize and analyze this age in New York City--what does it mean for me as a resident? More tourists and fake Louis Vuittons crowding my street? Is that a positive annoyance for my daily life? Will I eventually be forced to leave my beautiful brownstone apartment for a new construction condo stuffed with cheap marble and bulbous stainless steel lined balconies? How many more Sixth Avenue towers are going to replace the corner bodega and other active and vibrant architecture which lends a watchful eye over its residents? These questions make me think I will look back on this era as a time when the unique, solid, and historic urban qualities of New York City began to slip away.

Since the beginning of New York, however, it has been a city of rapid and constant change. This is the very quality that is inherent in and helped to shape the city as it is today. So I go back to my original seemingly naive statement "change is exciting" and say it is not naive, it is true. And though it is exciting, it is not necessarily good. It is a balance--we must be able to change without losing our identity, as people and as a city.

How will New Yorkers look back on this era of architecture and planning in New York City? I cannot really say, as no one truly can. It will depend on the future and what the next generations bring. But for now, my perspective is that this era has had a positive influence on myself as an architect--I have seen the good and the bad, the effects of economic troubles and unemployment, and have grown to understand this is an age of learning. So to look back from a future time, I believe we might not see a golden age, per se, nor an age of lost character, but an age simply of changing character similar to so many historic eras which have come before it.

Kalina Toffolo

Jennifer Traina-Dorge self portrait

Jennifer Traina-Dorge

Bio

Jennifer Traina-Dorge is the lead project designer for a building in Texas. She holds a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cornell University and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Jennifer previously lived in Manhattan and worked as a designer at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Originally from New Orleans, she currently lives and works in Houston.

Statement

The American economic crisis is the best thing that happened to Western culture, more specifically New York City.

Jennifer Traina-Dorge

Sara Valente self portrait

Sara Valente

Bio

Sara Valente, born in Venezuela, earned a bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2005 where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and received an Honorable Mention for her thesis “Project for Projects: Territory and System.” Sara holds a Master of Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (2007) where her design studio work was published in the Abstract magazine. She has taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and currently lives in New York and works at 1100 Architect.

Statement

The last decade has been one of increasing urban consciousness and general progress with rezoning policies, the reclaiming of the waterfronts, environmental approaches, open space and parks regeneration, recycling upgrades, pedestrian improvements, planting programs; but I think is also true that other aspects have been often sacrificed. Mixture is one example. New neighborhoods seem to become increasingly specific and closed, leaving little space for foreign insertions and, with it, a social, cultural, programmatic and generational mixture, part of the most interesting and unique aspects of the city.

Transformation is a constant force in every metropolis, and in the case of New York, where mixture and variety are inherent in its own nature, change happens in a vast array of ways as well.

It was very interesting for me to move through the city to discover how the new has entered the old and in this coexistence finding an extensive array of combinations and relationships, each one telling a different story about their site and condition.

In the form of punctual insertions, landed objects, massive construction, land clean-outs, planting, glass surgeries, superficial make-up or natural aging the new has transformed the existing fabric by merging with it, surrounding it, attaching to it, dropping in it, hanging from it, copying it, slotting into it, hiding in it and resulting in new scenarios that appear to us as completed, flattened, compressed, densified, enriched, strengthened, extended, disrupted, colored, distorted, desolated, activated in a singular state of equilibrated chaos.

-Sara Valente

Mireille van der Moga

Bio

Mireille van der Moga was raised, lives and works in New York City.

Statement

I think we need more distance from this era of hyperactive growth in order to say one way or the other, whether it has been a positive catalyst for development and revitalization, or whether it has laid the foundation for implosion.

I see New York as a city that fell into the arms of commerce and private interest in the name of the public (for example, condos and Big Box stores), a city that wanted its own Bilbao affect in order to sustain interest (starchitecture and hefty development plans), and a city tripping over itself in order to capitalize on the green wave running its course through our era (PlaNYC and MillionTreesNYC).

While these can be seen as positive changes, or at least a step in the right direction - more housing and jobs, a broader palette of design, an infrastructure for sustainability - in the end it's the motivation driving these changes and the degree of actual planning involved that will determine their success. As the city deals with the fallout from this whirlwind, the choices made for purely economic reasons may end up pulling New York into a blighted era of vacant lots, unfinished and uninhabited buildings, a general economic and emotional slump and a frustrated citizenry. For a New New York to actually become a New New Deal the profit motivation driving this last decade has to be directed in order to make the city accessible, sustainable from a planning perspective, and truly motivated by public good.

Ultimately, I don't think the values that drive New York's unique urban qualities will ever change. New York will always be a fast-paced financial capital, it will always set new standards, it will always be a city defined by newcomers and it will always bounce back. In the end, despite today's limited perspective, and perhaps only many years down the line, I think this era has a good chance of being seen as a turning point for the better as defined by future generations.

Caroline Van Horn self portrait

Caroline Van Horn

Bio

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Rain Wang came to the United States six years ago to study architecture at SCI-ARC in Los Angeles. Fascinated by the unique urban environment of New York City, she moved after graduation. Currently she works as an architect in Manhattan, and lives in Brooklyn.

Statement

When I came to New York City six years ago, I was very surprised to see the city was under construction almost everywhere: the World Trade Center, the High Line, Atlantic Yards, the massive residential towers along Flatbush Ave. and the Brooklyn waterfront, and thousands of new condo buildings in different Brooklyn neighborhoods, all undergoing development.

The new construction is often built with shining metal and transparent glass. These buildings immediately stand out from the brownstone or brick surroundings. Coherence doesn't exist in most of the new developments, no matter the scale, the material, or the social economic class. It is a shock for a newcomer, but a New Yorker might be used to the clashes of different elements. When you stand on the intersection of Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, the distinct contrast between the Fulton Street shopping mall and the luxury condo towers illustrates this unique New York phenomenon. Sometimes you will see a jogger maneuvering through the shopping crowd at the intersection.

The voids in the city have filled up one after another. The deserted Atlantic Yards is definitely becoming a center of focus in the new century. When you look through the construction fence into the yard, it is still an empty hole in front of Downtown Brooklyn's towers. Several roads have been closed for construction. The connection between the nearby neighborhoods has been broken. The residents have to detour from one side of the street to the other. “What will it look like in ten years?” The question flashed in my mind when I clicked the camera. The answer: “A few monotonous towers and an enormous stadium stand in the middle of the traffic.”

In the last century, the brilliant Broadway that cuts through Manhattan's grid system has created so many interesting intersections for public space and unique building types. It is an incubator of city development. Today, the elevated High Line Park serves a similar function, revitalizing the west side of lower Manhattan beyond imagination. It is a great success in the history of urban renewal projects. We need more urban structures with forward thinking, public consciousness, and appropriate scale to sustain us in the new century.

If you take the A train all the way to the end, you reach Far Rockaway. In between Beach 32nd Street and Beach 56th Street, there is the virgin land, on which exists only native marshals, a boardwalk, and the ocean, with one or two buildings in the distant background. What will this land be in another ten or thirty years? Will it be another modern Brasilia village, an isolated suburban community, or something different?

Rain Yan Wang

Bio

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Rain Wang came to the United States six years ago to study architecture at SCI-ARC in Los Angeles. Fascinated by the unique urban environment of New York City, she moved after graduation. Currently she works as an architect in Manhattan, and lives in Brooklyn.

Statement

When I came to New York City six years ago, I was very surprised to see the city was under construction almost everywhere: the World Trade Center, the High Line, Atlantic Yards, the massive residential towers along Flatbush Ave. and the Brooklyn waterfront, and thousands of new condo buildings in different Brooklyn neighborhoods, all undergoing development.

The new construction is often built with shining metal and transparent glass. These buildings immediately stand out from the brownstone or brick surroundings. Coherence doesn’t exist in most of the new developments, no matter the scale, the material, or the social economic class. It is a shock for a newcomer, but a New Yorker might be used to the clashes of different elements. When you stand on the intersection of Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, the distinct contrast between the Fulton Street shopping mall and the luxury condo towers illustrates this unique New York phenomenon. Sometimes you will see a jogger maneuvering through the shopping crowd at the intersection.

The voids in the city have filled up one after another. The deserted Atlantic Yards is definitely becoming a center of focus in the new century. When you look through the construction fence into the yard, it is still an empty hole in front of Downtown Brooklyn’s towers. Several roads have been closed for construction. The connection between the nearby neighborhoods has been broken. The residents have to detour from one side of the street to the other. “What will it look like in ten years?” The question flashed in my mind when I clicked the camera. The answer: “A few monotonous towers and an enormous stadium stand in the middle of the traffic.”

In the last century, the brilliant Broadway that cuts through Manhattan’s grid system has created so many interesting intersections for public space and unique building types. It is an incubator of city development. Today, the elevated High Line Park serves a similar function, revitalizing the west side of lower Manhattan beyond imagination. It is a great success in the history of urban renewal projects. We need more urban structures with forward thinking, public consciousness, and appropriate scale to sustain us in the new century.

If you take the A train all the way to the end, you reach Far Rockaway. In between Beach 32nd Street and Beach 56th Street, there is the virgin land, on which exists only native marshals, a boardwalk, and the ocean, with one or two buildings in the distant background. What will this land be in another ten or thirty years?  Will it be another modern Brasilia village, an isolated suburban community, or something different?

Adrianne Weremchuk self portrait

Adrianne Weremchuk

Bio

Adrianne Weremchuk, ASLA, is a Landscape Designer and ISA Certified Arborist who has lived and designed in New York City for the past 23 years. Her interest in capturing images of the urban fabric began in the late '80s while taking photography elective courses at Parsons School of Design as part of her BFA in Environmental (Architectural) Design (1990). Photography as inventory became prevalent in her work during and since receiving a BSLA in Landscape Architecture from the City College of New York in 1999.

Statement

Ten years is quite brief in the course of history over the millennia, but yet we may see it as a compelling and pivotal period depending on the extent of change or impact it might make on a society and its fabric. In my mind, the greatest changes that have occurred to us New Yorkers and the country at large in the past ten years are psychological, and the responses have driven design that provides greater comfort and security in the psychological framework. New Yorkers are a hardy group with resilience and tolerance to meet all sorts of challenges; but the events at the turn of this decade brought us to our knees and, as we resolved to move forward with strength and perseverance, we still find ourselves in a restructured environment of heightened security and restrictions. This can feed into many arteries of our society, not least of which the architectural and landscape installations. Safety has never been a greater issue as it is now. Ideas of attractive location are not just determined by the appeal or monetary value of place anymore. Security is not as much an issue of localized concerns as in the past; we are now looking globally with a wary eye.

Parallel to this period of psychological adjustment has been a time of tremendous advancement and change in communication, presentation, and exchange of information. Our technology has been accelerating exponentially, providing us with endless new opportunities to tie together and disseminate information effortlessly and paper-free. Our supersonic sharing of resources has driven design into a more hyperbolic mode of exploration; which has allowed, somehow, for greater fragmentation of place — but feels, at the same time, woven together. The accessibility of design and the general public's readiness to receive “leading edge architecture” has been fueled, I believe, by this YouTube/Facebook/Google generation of information sharing.

The economic situation is, in my mind, the most troubling. I remember the market downturn in 1987 and the years that followed I was at the beginning of my career then, but saw the design and construction industry toppled for an extended period — and now we are experiencing an economy in much more dire straits. If we are to maintain the present momentum of bringing New York to the heights of design and functionality, we will have to consider ways to do this with limited means — or create the means to bring the talent and energy to the forefront and enable proactive production.

Ten, fifty, one hundred — even one thousand — years from now, I am sure that future New Yorkers will look back on this time as one of our greatest challenges — and will be proud to reflect on our usual, remarkable ability to plow through and build up.

Coë Will

Bio

Coë Will, in-house graphic designer and photographer for FXFOWLE Architects, was introduced to both architecture and photography by her grandfather, Philip Will, co-founder of Perkins+Will. She lives in Brooklyn at the entrance to one of the greatest urban planning achievements in New York, Prospect Park.

Hannah Wong

Bio

Hannah Wong currently serves as project manager and architectural designer at Fradkin & McAlpin Associates in Manhattan, NY. Concurrently, she takes pleasure in continuing her personal studies in the visual and experiential relationship between the human body and the built environment — an ongoing exploration in the subject of appearance and identity. She has recently begun experimenting in the field of photography.

Steven Yavanian self portrait

Steven Yavanian

Bio

Steven Yavanian is a landscape architect living and working in New York City.

Statement

New York City gained some remarkable buildings within the past ten years: some beautiful, some sustainable, some both. No matter how good or bad anyone believes the architecture has been since 2001, their influence on the physical make-up of the city has not been substantial. The grid still rules and the buildings plug in accordingly. The most noticeable changes felt by average New Yorkers are those that are found between the buildings - in its streets and open spaces.

Cars and trucks still dominate city streets. However, a better balance between pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders appears to be slowly taking form. It is critical that streets continue to be rethought in strategic ways to be accessible to all users and to create better connectivity at the scale of the neighborhood and region.

The amount and quality of open space in all five boroughs - either built, in construction or planned - has been impressive. Planners and designers are continuing to find innovative ways of integrating people and natural systems in beautiful, accessible and sustainable ways.

Unfortunately, streets and parks do not generate money in the ways buildings do. As a result, their maintenance will be a perpetual challenge in need of new solutions. Signature buildings, complete streets and well-designed open spaces are only a small part of what will allow New York City to be successful in the coming century. Intelligent leadership, innovation and citizen participation will all be necessary to ensure that New York City will be safe, affordable, connected, comfortable and environmentally sustainable for the 21st century and beyond.

Yuri Yturriaga

Bio

Yuri Yturriaga currently works as Project Architect for Atmosphere Design Group, an architectural design and construction firm specializing in retail spaces in New York City and across the country. Yuri resides in Yorkville with his wife Aurora, spending their leisure hours running at the Central Park reservoir or visiting the many museums and galleries in their vicinity.